Posted tagged ‘Saline’

First 30-day ideaLab project completed

May 5, 2011

For my first 30-day ideaLab-JRC project, I have partnered with local retirement communities and senior centers to gather oral histories from area senior citizens using ipadio.com’s iPhone “record and publish” application in person and recorded phone conversations using ipadio’s three-way calling and recording capability.

Topics have included conversations on faith and spirituality, living with someone with Alzheimer’s disease, motherhood, genealogy, immigration, fleeing one’s country of origin during the war, raising children in the 1960s and 1970s, and local politics.

My goal was to train volunteers in the community to record the interviews and provide the photos, so staff only has to grab embed codes and receive photos, and then upload to our website under a “Podcast” drop-down menu. This, however, has been a huge challenge. So far, I have two volunteers working with me in Saline, but I would like to have more. My editor in Chelsea and Dexter has done two, and is looking for volunteers. My editors in Manchester, Ypsilanti and Belleville will be making contacts with senior communities soon to launch the project in those communities in the next couple of weeks, also building a volunteer base.

I have spent every Wednesday for the last four weeks at Brecon Village retirement community or the Saline Area Senior Center interviewing at least two residents each week, with 14 recorded. My volunteers have done an additional three and my Chelsea/Dexter editor has done two. The profiles include photographs of our subjects.

My 14-day goal was to get the same process going in Chelsea and Dexter with help from copy editor Erica McClain. This has been achieved, but at a slower rate than I anticipated.

At 21 days, I had planned to implement this in Milan. I have conducted one interview there, and have had volunteers supply me with names of potential subjects. I still need to round up volunteers to conduct interviews so I am not doing it all.

At 21 to 28 days, I was to set up a volunteer orientation session in Saline, Milan, Dexter and Chelsea to train community volunteers. I have found that my two volunteers have been able to learn it on their own. However, I have created a presentation that I can use for training purposes and it’s posted here on my ideaLab-Heritage blog on WordPress.

My longer-term goal was to implement this project in Ann Arbor, Manchester, Ypsilanti and Belleville. These editors have assured me that they plan to do so in the next couple of weeks.

I have utilized our ideaLab iPhone for this project to record the interviews and shoot the photos. I’ve used DropBox to move the photos from my phone to laptop computer. I have managed the activity on my ipadio account, where I’ve gotten the embed code to post the podcasts on Heritage.com.

Metrics: The project has generated 6,250 listens. One podcast, shared with a sister publication near Philadelphia, helped drive a lot more traffic than most, with that podcast generating 1,279 listens. The average audio recording generates 250 listens. Most vary from 630 to 65. They have been promoted on our website, Facebook, Twitter and this blog.

I have trained 10 staff members on ipadio.com and Google Voice, the technology I picked from the ideaLab tool list, and posted my presentation on collecting audio to enhance storytelling on my ideaLabHeritage blog. I have also solicited a list of more staff to train at a sister publication, The News-Herald in Southgate, and plan to set up training soon.

What’s next: My next 30-day project will be to learn how to create photo slideshows with audio, Google maps, and my tool to learn will be Kaywa QR Code, so readers can scan the code in print to be taken to the slideshow online. The goal is to have the audience provide the photos and text from Memorial Day activities in our communities.

My 30-Day Project Using iPadio.com

March 16, 2011

Our work in the ideaLab was initially billed as having “no rules” attached to it, but, just as with most things in life, there are some rules and one new rule is that we have to adopt a 30-day project, complete it by April 25 and be prepared to teach what we’ve learned in the process to others. Luckily, I am juggling several podcasting projects that I can use as they’re all mid-stream right now. So, here’s my proposal:
30 Day Project – Michelle Rogers
To Be Completed April 25

Brief one paragraph outline of project
Oral histories project. Pairing up with local retirement communities and senior centers to gather oral histories from area senior citizens, using ipadio.com’s iPhone “record and publish” application in person or can record phone conversation using ipadio account. Topics based on such themes as community activism, faith and spirituality, innovation, leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, patriotism, cultural influences, heroics/survival stories, interesting careers, community service, service to country, etc. Goal is to train volunteers in the community to record the interviews and provide the photos, so staff only has to grab embed code and receive photo, and then upload to our website under a “Podcast” drop-down menu. In addition, I am partnering with ideaLabber Marissa Raymo and she will use these podcasts/audio recordings for her Senior Central venture.

Details on stages
Every Wednesday: Visit Brecon Village retirement community in Saline to interview at least two residents per week. Take their photos and upload to website.
14 Days: Get the same process going in Chelsea and Dexter with help of copy editor Erica McClain.
21 Days: Implement in Milan.
21 to 28 Days: Set up a volunteer orientation session in Saline, Milan, Dexter and Chelsea to train community volunteers.
(Longer term/beyond initial project)
2 to 3 Months: Implement in Ann Arbor and Manchester and provide training.
3 to 4 Months: Implement in Ypsilanti and Belleville and provide training.

Resources available to you for this project
I will need the cooperation of staff and will solicit volunteers in the community, possibly high school history students to interview and record.
I will utilize our ideaLab iPhone and seek out others with smartphones, but Brecon also has a phone system that can be utilized.

Resources needed
At least one or two volunteers from each of our eight communities.

Metrics
Site traffic and buzz on social networking sites.
Scale
Train staff at sister publications via instruction sheet, but ipadio.com website self-explanatory and offers video tutorial. I could serve as point person and support.

Also find attached a spreadsheet of the tools please select the ones you want to learn and prepare to teach. You can post your choice to your idea lab blog.
Google Voice (I’ve also forwarded the tool list to my staff and asked each to learn one and teach to everyone over next 16 weeks, eight to learn and eight to teach.)

Tools to select from among:
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
http://www.audioboo.fm/
http://aviary.com/tools/audio-editor
http://www.cinchcast.com/
http://www.talkshoe.com/
http://crowdmap.com/
http://foursquare.com/
http://gowalla.com/
http://www.meetways.com/
http://www.polleverywhere.com/
http://www.quora.com/
http://storify.com/
http://www.surveymonkey.com/
http://tinychat.com/
http://www.ustream.tv/
http://www.contxts.com/
http://www.cueprompter.com/
http://www.evernote.com/
http://www.google.com/voice
http://qrcode.kaywa.com/
http://www.layar.com/
http://www.pixlr.com/
http://www.stickybits.com/
http://www.tlbox.com/
http://www.typewith.me/
http://zamzar.com/
http://writer.bighugelabs.com/
http://hootsuite.com/
http://youropenbook.org/
http://pligg.com/
http://www.widgetbox.com/
http://www.capzles.com/
http://www.dipity.com/
http://www.effectgenerator.com/
http://geocommons.com/
http://www-958.ibm.com/software/data/cognos/manyeyes/
http://photopeach.com/
http://photosynth.net/default.aspx
http://picfog.com/
http://prezi.com/
http://vis.stanford.edu/protovis/
http://tripwow.tripadvisor.com/
http://www.umapper.com/
http://www.vuvox.com/
http://www.animoto.com/
http://jaycut.com/
http://www.stroome.com/
http://www.xtranormal.com/
http://www.polishmywriting.com/

Sharing local history through podcasts

September 21, 2010

A chat at a local coffeehouse last week with one of my volunteers working on ideaLab Heritage has netted an exciting project that can be incorporated into my ideaLab participation with the Journal Register Co.

Since my goal is to get technology in the hands of staff and have them incorporate the latest and greatest tools available in their reporting, this project fits nicely.

Michael McVey, a Saline resident and assistant professor in the College of Education at Eastern Michigan University, and I were chatting and I knew he produced podcasts, so I asked him about them.

Initially, I wondered if there was any value in having one of my reporters read individual stories for a podcast we could make available on our website so people could listen to the news rather than reading it. I thought they could click on the daily headlines and opt to click on a podcast report rather than read the story online. This thought was inspired by my daily workouts at Liberty Athletic Club in Ann Arbor, where I see a handful of people trying to read the newspaper while running the treadmill or exercising on the stationary bikes.

McVey, however, said he didn’t think it would catch on based on his own experience, but maybe we could try something else. That’s when we came up with the idea of historic walking tours of the Saline and Milan communities. The idea is to feature a historic building or deceased mover and shaker every week or two, with two- to three-minute-long stories shared by a member of the local historical society.

We would build on our podcasts over the years and end up with a wonderful archive of each community’s history featured in a drop-down menu on our home page.

If this catches on and enough interest is generated, my staff and I could tackle all eight communities that we cover.

I still have a lot to learn about podcasts, as I know nothing at this point, but McVey said we could incorporate photos and video. He sent me some links to his work, as well as a link to a podcast on podcasting, and we talked a little about equipment, which is really just a good microphone.

We also talked about getting all of the stakeholders involved, from training staff to engaging the historical societies and local libraries.

We hope to start this project in October and Milan has offered a great opportunity. The historical society will be leading a tour of Marble Park Cemetery with a talk on deceased prominent residents at dusk Oct. 20.

My next move is to reach out to both historical societies, check out McVey’s podcast on podcasting and look into buying a microphone. My next meeting with him is Sept. 30, so I’ll update you on my progress at that time.

In the meantime, I welcome your comments and input. Do you have any experience with podcasting?